Personal development

Our 11 Favorite Personal Development Readings


Every two weeks, Brew’s Bookshelf recommends some of our favorite business reads, from Biographies to Personal Finance 101 to Entrepreneurship Success Stories. Now we bring you a bonus list of our favorite personal development books.

We know what you’re thinking, but these aren’t 11 bullet journal guides to make you happy. Each of these books offers unique tools, goals, and philosophies that you can apply to your personal life and career.

  1. Vary by David Epstein makes a compelling argument for spreading your skills far and wide. You may remember Vary from our Pumpkin Spice author series, but we’re bringing it back because you really can’t miss this one.
  2. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant is both deeply personal and diverse, exploring how individuals can recover from setbacks and become more resistant.
  3. In-depth work by Cal Newport teaches you to put your phone down for a few hours and enjoy a Zen-free, distraction-free workflow. We received a copy for Christmas and now we send out 17 newsletters per week, so…
  4. How to Raise Successful People by Esther Wojcicki shares proven tips for raising children. As the mother of the CEO of Youtube, CEO of 23andMe, and a prominent professor of medicine, Wojcicki has a proven track record to underpin his book.
  5. Atomic habits by James Clear has finally made us stop touching our faces, and it can also help you develop the habits you want, one day at a time. Also, if you buy the book, Clear will send you a guide to apply. Atomic habits in your company.
  6. The art of coming together by Priya Parker takes an in-depth look at how to create meaningful and memorable moments with others – lessons that seem more important than ever. Parker also hosts the NYT podcast Together apart, where she dissects coming together in the age of social distancing.
  7. Think, fast and slow is the exploration by economist Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner, of the two modes of reasoning: our fast and emotional mind and our slow and logical mind. It is one of the most famous books ever written on psychology, and for good reason.
  8. The defining decade by Meg Jay is an important reminder not to go through your twenties while waiting to hit your pace in your thirties. Her book can help the youngest cohort of young professionals take charge of their young adulthood, both personally and professionally.
  9. Mindset: the new psychology of success by Carol Dweck explains how changing your mindset from a “fixed” mindset to a “growth oriented” one can bring you success. His classes are not just for the individual.
  10. Never divide the difference by Chris Voss offers lessons from a former FBI hostage negotiator that you can apply throughout your life, from negotiating a salary to renting a house.
  11. Calm by Susan Cain is not “Introverts for Dummies”. This is a valuable discussion of how introverts fit into workplaces, schools, relationships, and traditional conceptions of success.

A suggestion for us? Drop it here. We will regularly feature some of our favorite readers in the Brew’s Bookshelf segment of our daily newsletter.


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